The Accessible Homes Project features construction of a locally-designed twindominium with two owner-occupied side by side homes. The units are designed to incorporate Universal Design accessibility features, while incorporating neighborhood design features into the home design concept. The project provides an opportunity for qualified households with a need for a mobility accessible home to meet the needs of their family while have the chance to develop a long-term asset. One twindominium is expected to be constructed every two years, with ground breaking expected on the first project in February 2016.
Each twindominium will include a 2 bedroom home and a 3 bedroom home built to accommodate individuals with a mobility disability. Each homes offers the benefits of modern new construction, while including an extended garage, covered patio and design features that contribute positively to the neighborhood. Individual homes are expected to value at between $105,000 to $125,000
Accessibility features include: -no step entries for all access points to unit; widened doorways and livable spaces to facilitate movement; -first floor laundry; open concept kitchen and living room with accommodating appliances and counter space; -bathroom with support bars, "roll-in" shower and separate bath tub; -and many additional features that create an accommodating living environment that supports individuals with a mobility disability.
The twindominium includes two adjoining side by side units. As a twindo owner, the household will have exclusive ownership of their home while participating in a condo association for the management of the roof and driveway.
According to the 2000 US Census, 10% of the Winnebago County population between age 18 and 64 is disabled, with 35% of 65+ year olds having a disability. A major housing gap in the region is the access to affordable, accessible housing that meets the needs of individuals with mobility disabilities. According to the Census data, over half of the city of Oshkosh's housing stock was constructed prior to 1960, where accessibility design features were no incorporated into construction. This greatly limits homeownership and housing opportunities for individuals with mobility limitations. In fact, the 2013 report City of Oshkosh Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice cited lack of appropriate housing for residents with disabilities to be one of the greatest housing barrier in our community, adding that it was the number one topic of complaint among residents. The Accessible Homes Project is a response to this need, providing quality, affordable homeownership opportunities that incorporate Universal Design features for accessibility.
Through the unique partnership between the local municipality, Habitat for Humanity, the Winnebago Homebuyer Program, neighborhoods and community supporters, these new construction homes will feature attractive design while effectively incorporating accessibility features throughout. The twindominium design enables construction cost savings of 20% per unit, while the support and involvement of the local business community and of volunteers helps to lower construction and material costs. The homebuyer, upon meeting program qualifications and having demonstrated successful financial management, will invest $500 - $1500 of their own funds into the home purchase. In addition, the homebuyer family is required to invest 250 - 500 hours of "sweat equity", helping with the actual build of the home. Homeowners will pay a monthly PITI (mortgage principal, interest, taxes and insurance) equal to 30% of their income, ensuring long-term affordability for the home. Visit our Why Affordable Housing page for more information on affordable housing.
Through affordable homeownership, income restricted and LMI households who demonstrate long-term responsible financial management have the opportunity to develop equity ownership in their home. This development of an asset can serve as an important part of a family's path to self-sufficiency and long-term financial security.
Projects are constructed amidst residential neighborhoods in a manner that incorporates existing features of the neighborhood into the design. Prior to development, the local neighborhood is engaged in the process, providing project feedback and hands-on construction assistance. The housing development is a valuable addition to the neighborhood through the redevelopment of a vacant or neglected plot into a two-household property valued at between $180,000 and $225,000.
Accessible Homes Project candidates must meet income limits, which are set at between 30% and 60% of County Median Income (CMI). In calculating income, add the gross (pre-tax) income amounts from all sources for all household members, excluding wages earned by minors, from financial aid, and benefits received for medical and child care*. Current income limits are available by calling Habitat Oshkosh at 920.235.3535 or emailing at firstname.lastname@example.org. Because income limits change annually, you are advised to first contact Habitat directly. Income calculations entail a comprehensive review of all income sources, including verifications and underwriting. Additional excluded income sources may be applicable.
All household homebuyers through the Accessible Homes Project must invest 500 hours of sweat equity on the project, including volunteering on site for the construction build, volunteering at the ReStore, and attending homebuyer education workshops. Volunteering can be completed by the actual homebuyer as well as their family and friends.
Potential homebuyers must meet high standards of financial management, consistent with standard mortgage loan underwriting principles, including: - Current on all debt obligations, including credit cards, loans, judgements, and other debts. - Maximum household debt of 11% (not counting housing costs) of gross monthly income. - Demonstrated budget with ability to meet all current obligations without incurring additional debt. - Ability to put aside a minimum monthly amount of dollars for home purchase, home maintenance and emergency savings - A minimum two years from most recent bankruptcy discharge - Completion of homebuyer education course and one-on-one financial assessment Visit our HOMEBUYER UNIVERSITY resource page for information on homebuyer preparation. Visit the OSHKOSH HABITAT FOR HUMANITY page for program information.
All interested parties will need to complete applications with the Winnebago Homebuyer Program and Oshkosh Habitat for Humanity. Prior to completing the application, you are encouraged to spend a few hours reviewing the homebuyer resources at our HOMEBUYER UNIVERSITY to help determine if homeownership is right for you at this time, and what steps you can take to better position yourself for successful homeownership. Currently you can complete the Winnebago Homebuyer Program application by DOWNLOADING A COPY, filling it out and returning it to the office at 600 Merritt Avenue, Oshkosh, WI 54901. The application is valid for all Winnebago Homebuyer Program purchase assistance programs. Homebuyers interested in the Accessible Homes Project will be referred to Habitat for Humanity for an informational follow-up. Interested households can also contact the Oshkosh Habitat for Humanity directly, though the agency only accepts applications during scheduled Application Periods.